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John Chard
What made Hannibal the beast he was? Indeed, director Peter Webber and author Thomas Harris bring us Hannibal Lector (ne: Lecter) the formative years. Off the bat you have to say it's not overtly a horror film, something which has proved to have annoyed many who ventured in expecting something different. Which on one hand is a shame because it's a very effective thriller, ripe with literary smarts and boasting some very good acting performances. While there is horrors around, genuine ones that history has taught us as fact. On the other hand it is a disappointment to fans of the Hannibal series, and to horror fans in general. The marketing didn't help, it was sold to all and sundry along the lines as the cannibal begins in earnest, thus nobody was quite prepared for the fact Hannibal was a normal kid once, even human! Once the pic kicks into being a revenge killer thriller, it lacks an emotional wallop, with the screenplay shaking too many eggs in the basket and not coming up with a tasty fava bean based omelet. Smart tech credits help to still further keep this out of stinkerville and above average, but the heavy feeling of missed opportunities and poor writing hangs heavy as the end credits roll. 6/10

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